ECONOMY WEEKLY: WEEK OF JANUARY 25, 2010

For Immediate Release:

January 29, 2010

Contact:Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

 
“President Obama's stimulus package saved jobs — but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY's quarterly survey of 50 economists. Unemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December's 10% rate — without Obama's $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists' median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.”

— USA Today, 1/25/2010

 

“Today’s GDP report is the most positive news to date on the economy…. Real GDP … increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent. The change from the first quarter of 2009, when GDP fell at an annual rate of 6.4 percent, is truly extraordinary; indeed, the three-quarter swing in growth rates was the largest since 1981.”

– Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Christina Romer, 1/29/2010
 


Economy Highlights:


• The Department of Commerce reported that the economy (GDP) grew 5.7% in the last quarter of 2009, the fastest rate of growth since 2003. [Associated Press, 1/29/10; White House, 1/29/10]


• According to a report from the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence reached the highest level in 16 months, rising for “the third straight month in January, driven by improved economic conditions.” [Reuters, 1/26/10]


• In a sign that the housing market is continuing to recover, “U.S. home prices rose 0.5 percent in November from a year earlier, the first annual gain since 2007” and the sixth successive monthly increase. [Bloomberg, 1/28/10]


• After two years of plunging revenues made deficit projections increase with every update, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released new projections indicating that revenues and deficits have finally stabilized. “In its annual report, the nonpartisan CBO pegged the 2010 U.S. budget deficit at $1.35 trillion, a slight decrease from the $1.4 trillion 2009 deficit…”  [Wall Street Journal, 1/27/10]

 


Recovery Highlights:


USA Today released a quarterly survey of 50 economists who found that the Recovery Act was responsible for saving jobs and helped stem growing job losses of 1.2 million. According to those surveyed, without the Recovery Act, “unemployment would have hit 10.8%.”  [USA Today, 1/25/10]


• President Obama and Vice President Biden announced $8 billion in Recovery Act awards to states across the country “to develop America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service…. [T]hese dollars represent an historic investment in the country’s transportation infrastructure, which will help create jobs and transform travel in America.” [White House, 1/28/10; New York Times, 1/29/10]
 
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